Ms. Emily Willingham
60 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10011.
Re: Malicious defamation of Dr. Andrew Wakefield
Dear Emily Willingham,
It has been brought to my attention that on or about April 30, 2014, Forbes ran an online article authored by you entitled, “Blame Wakefield For Missed Autism-Gut Connection.” The article can be found online at:
In this letter you made demonstrably false and misleading claims that have the effect of defaming me. Your false and defamatory statements are reckless, stated without due regard to the available evidence, and malicious. Accordingly, pending review by my lawyers, you will be sued for defamation.
Specifically, your article states, as a matter of fact that:
Wakefield’s MMR/autism/gut red herring and the subsequent noxious cloud that his fraud left over any research examining autism and the gut.
In making this false and malicious allegation of fraud, you erroneously ascribe the above statement to a “cite” from the authors of an article published in the medical journal Pediatrics when you write:
Well, the Pediatrics review by McElhanon et al. happens to cite that reason several times: Wakefield’s MMR/autism/gut red herring and the subsequent noxious cloud that his fraud… The Pediatrics authors state it unequivocally:
On any ordinary reading, the intent of your statement is clear: to imply that the authors of the Pediatrics paper cite fraud on my part. What McElhanon et al actually say is substantially different from your false and defamatory allegation i.e.,
It is clear that greater clinical and research scrutiny is needed to increase awareness on this topic and thus support development of the best standards of care. Previous controversy surrounding the MMR vaccine and proposed causal link between ASD and infection of the GI tract probably deterred investigators from dedicating resources to examine GI functioning in this population while fostering uncertainty in the ASD community regarding the validity of this line of inquiry.
There has been a substantial amount of inaccurate and misleading reporting regarding me and my work in multiple publications. Some of the most egregious statements that have been made about me appeared in the British Medical Journal and in publications by Mr. Brian Deer. As you should be aware, I am suing the British Medical Journal, its editor Dr. Fiona Godlee, and Brian Deer for defamation in state District Court in Travis County, Texas. The case is Cause No. D-1-GN-12-000003, Dr. Andrew J Wakefield v. The British Medical Journal, et.al. The case is currently on jurisdictional appeal, a matter that is irrelevant to either the factual merits of the case or to the prosecution of defendants such as you, based, as you are, in the United States.
The pleadings and other papers on file in that case set forth my position regarding numerous statements made by Brian Deer, Dr. Godlee and the BMJ. I have filed affidavits in that case which support my claim that false and defamatory statements have been made about me. The documents on file are public records to which you and Forbes have had access for some considerable time. These documents demonstrate that the scientific research conducted by me and published in the Lancet Paper was not fraudulent. It appears that you have failed in the most basic process of due diligence by not availing yourself of this information before making your defamatory statements. Your actions show a reckless disregard for the truth and are clear evidence of malice on your part; pending legal advice, you will be prosecuted accordingly.
Further, you are advised that there is, in fact, a substantial body of peer reviewed and published work that corroborates the presence of gastrointestinal pathology in a substantial proportion of children with autism. The Lancet Paper was the stimulus for this compelling and important. I suggest that you avail yourself of this body of work in anticipation of legal proceedings against you. The microscopic, cellular, molecular, microbial, and pathophysiological changes that have been reported by independent researchers may prove to be somewhat challenging to your flimsy notion of “anxiety.”
You are also advised that I live and work in Austin, Texas where my business is headquartered, and that my work is conducted throughout the US. Your defamatory statements about me will undoubtedly cause me to suffer significant personal and financial damage.
My lawyers are currently dealing with Deer and his co-defendants. They will be turning their attention to you well within the statute of limitations for filing a case against you and Forbes.
Dr. Andrew J Wakefield MB.BS
James Moody Esq.
Dawn Loughborough DAIR